We wore our Hawaiian attire just ’cause we could. For a joke in a way. A celebration of the memories of 25 years of marriage.
We matched. We rejoiced in the fact our clothes from that trip 16 years ago fit. That life together had held many special moments.
We got a lot of stares. Of comments. A group of teens on their break stood smoking outside a restaurant and snickered.
I smiled and waved. “Hey! We have a good reason!” I bantered. “It’s our 25th wedding anniversary, and we’re wearing a memory.”
They cheered for us then.
I never knew what a conversation starter bright, out-of-date, Hawaiian attire could be.
Honestly, I was a little embarrassed by all the attention, but I’m glad we did it. It was like a shout to the world that marriage can be fun. Can last. That you can still play together after 25 years.
At Trader Joe’s the comments on our floral glory drew attention to our special day. They gave us flowers. We bought dark chocolate and wine, which we shared later that night.
It was a different kind of anniversary celebration for us. We weren’t able to get away for an overnight. We didn’t escape to traipse around in the mountains like we often do on special occasions.
We ran around town.
We ate out.
It wasn’t really very Jerry and Paula-ish. We’re not big shoppers.
But it was glorious.
I bought Jerry really good new shoes. He bought me silver jewelry. Yes, his gift was more romantic, but I swear those are the best tennis shoes my man has ever worn!
It was a joy to buy each other gifts. There were years we couldn’t.
After the hoopla we returned home to dress for dinner. I wasn’t quite up to making a matching spectacle at the nice Italian place we’d chosen. Besides, when I shopped for a dress to wear to Bernice’s memorial service I couldn’t believe how many dresses actually fit, and I bought a special one and saved it for this special day, hoping Jerry would like it. Would think I looked yummy in it and show it. ;o)
I’m still stunned I can find clothes I like so easily after all those years of hating everything, struggling to find something that fit, much less looked okay.
How foreign to like buying clothes again after my weight loss journey.
The beautiful dining experience that evening included live music and elegant food paired with a lovely wine.
Being the writer I am I people-watched in between those moments of staring deeply into my lover’s eyes. ;o)
Some people didn’t seem that happy. It was like it wasn’t special to them to eat that good food, to stare at each other across the table, to enjoy a beautiful atmosphere and glass of good wine.
To them it was just another Friday night.
“If it ever gets to the point that we do this all the time, and we suddenly realize it’s no longer special, let’s just stop,” I said.
Life is too precious to blaze past beautiful moments.
I don’t ever want to take gifts for granted.
I hope I won’t.
Our normal is a meal at home, and these days there are less and less faces around that table, but every one who is there is precious and every meal we share a joy.
And oh the glory when those kids all come home and crowd around the table! Every time someone thanks me for the meal, every time we’re together like that I feel the gift of such a commonplace thing and think it extraordinary, even though it happens at some level pretty much weekly.
So maybe there’s hope that a special meal like the one on our anniversary night won’t lose the magic either, even if it becomes a new normal when the kids skitter away to build their own nests.
If it does, I hope I’ll quit going to nice restaurants.
Life is full of gifts.
Some are very simple. Like the aroma of freshly popped popcorn.
Some are extravagant, like four dresses in one day.
But all are there for the taking–a little notice, a little unwrapping, a little celebrating.
Until Next Time,